Thursday, September 13, 2007

Not The Best Bandwagon

I remember walking into Filene's with my mom when I was 11-years-old and seeing shirts for the New England Patriots first Super Bowl game against the Bears. Even at such a young age, my pride as a New England fan ran deep. I recall basically throwing a fit during the game as things quickly turned south under the direction of Tony Eason and his ever-present feet-first slides to avoid tackles. An despite being destroyed on the pitch, I never gave up on the Pats. I remember being excited about Drew Bledsoe and Bill Parcells and I even can stomach a little 1996 nostalgia when we got clobbered by the Packers for Super Bowl loss number two, but then things changed. Bledsoe got injured, Brady emerged out of nowhere, and three Super Bowl rings later, a dynasty had been built under a great owner, a great general manager and who many of us fans believed to be one of the games greats coaches.
Now don't get me wrong, Bill Belichick is still, at least in my opinion, one of the gamers best coaches, ever, but why would he cheat? I don't buy into the whole, "everyone does it, but he got caught thing." Nope. You can't justify what the Patriots coaching staff did in breaking the league rules for videotaping the game from the sidelines during the first quarter of Sunday's victory over the Jets. Yes, the camera was taken away early and the actual effect of having the camera was most certainly minimal to the outcome to the game, but just the thought of our guys now being the bad guys makes me sick.
I doubt Bob Kraft knew about it. It's doubtful the player knew about it, but a few days certainly did and they have tainted this proud franchise and quite frankly have harmed they're own players in the process. No, "Cameragate" is not really that big a deal in terms of how badly someone can cheat. There just isn't very much benefit to what they did, but therein lies the big question: Why do it? Why cheat against the Jets. Why Bill? It's time for answers.
As for the penalties imposed by the league; they are mild in my opinion. I would have made the team forfeit the game and have suspended Belichick in addition to the fines and loss of draft picks, but what do I know? I'm just a fan of the game and yes, I'm still very much a fan of the Patriots.